The sixth annual Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Day promises to exceed all expectations, as the historic town of Cumberland Gap gears up for its 2016 installment of the popular event. The festival has been given that extra stamp of approval once again by the Southeast Tourism Society, garnering a spot as one of 20 top events across the southeast for the month of June.
The jamboree was hatched one day by a couple of local guys just sitting and pondering upon a porch. The two men, Mark Treadway and John Adams, decided it would be a “purty good thang” to put on a festival celebrating the rich history surrounding the historic town of Cumberland Gap.
Some six years later, the Genealogy Jam has grown in popularity, drawing visitors from all corners of the country to witness the lost arts of bygone days and to dig a little deeper into their personal histories via the craft of genealogy.
In February, the Gap lost a true friend with Adams’ sudden passing. A former town alderman, a fire chief and a real humanitarian, he will be sorely missed by every person with whom he came into contact.
Despite losing one of the driving forces of the Jam, the popular event is nevertheless up and running for a June 9-11 turnout, with a schedule slap-dab full of intriguing topics.
Among those gracing the schedule are professional genealogist J. Mark Lowe, Appalachian historian Dick Gault and storyteller Peggy Sawyer. Gen. Robert E. Lee and President Abe and Mary Lincoln will be authentically portrayed by Jim Young and Tom and Sue Wright.
You won’t want to miss the Lincoln/Lee debate, beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the nightly Sunset Movie in the Park, slated for Thursday and Friday evenings.
The jam will weave a full day of pioneer activities into its schedule on Saturday. Family reunions will be held inside the festival gates, as well.
An extra treat for history buffs will be on display, this year. The 440-year-old John Sevier Bible can be viewed by those who visit the jam on Saturday.
Period music, old-timey food and lots of history await those who pass through the gates in downtown Cumberland Gap.
“Why not y’all come by and rest a spell.”
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information, log onto www.genealogyjamboree.us.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.